Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada, and the United States it is made into ice wine there.
Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, and cassis, sometimes even violets.
Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon blanc. Cabernet Franc - Wikipedia link.
Varietal Notes from the tasting: Predominately French, one of the top 10 grapes, varies in aromas of bell pepper, cinnamon, cigar box, coffee, cranberry, tea, vanilla, dusty, smoky, earth, damp, soil, herbaceous, lavender, leather, musk, pipe, etc.
TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine 1) Wolf Mountain Instinct, Dahlonega, Georgia ~ $30 at the winery
Welcome Wine 2) 2007 McKenzie-Mueller Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley - $18.00 @ Vino Venue
unfiltered, estate bottled. 14.9% alcohol
1) 2007 Revolver Wine Company, The Fury, Cabernet Franc - $50 retail or $35 club member price from Page Wine Cellars (Brian Page) - 14.6% alcohol
higher alcohol, big vanilla, mocha, smoky tobacco,
big, heavy, coffee, clove, light but deepens as you drink it, soft tannins, elegant, guessing Napa, dark fruits, damsons (tart plum), "Antonio Banderas as John Wayne"
2) 2006 Beaucanon Estates Cabernet Franc Loius Cuvee, Napa Valley - $24.99 at Jackie's (on Johnson Ferry Rd) 14.9% alcohol
perfumey, perm solution, smells like alcohol, green bell pepper, tart, acidic, hot on the finish, tannic, grippy, cold climate, mountains or French Terroir, peppery, fiesty wine, "angry Latin woman spicy", "stamping her foot" spicy, "Penelope Cruz after a break-up", acid reflux in a glass
3) 2009 Guilliams Vineyards Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain, Napa ~ $35-40 (purchased through Le Caveau via the Big Boat Wine Tasting Event)
14.3 % alcohol
light citrusy nose, lavender, grape-ish, smoky, berries, barnyard smell, slightly bitter, French Oak, earthy, tobacco, "this is French", wet stone, mossy, fresh green bell pepper, smooth, tarter finish, very primavera, garden veggies, grass clippings, "makes me want pizza", "angry French guy complaining about his food, "has to come from Le Caveau"
*** At the end of the blind tasting we voted on our favorites, and THIS wine won! ***
4) 2010 Monticello Vineyards Cabernet Franc - $38 from the winery
***our fellow TWIT member Leslie works at this winery! ***
dirt, earth, peat, strong alcohol, woody, vanilla, Gamay-like, creamy vanilla, slightly sweeter, "candy in a past life", mellow-guy, Dave from Homewood, "he's mellow but he's cheating on his wife a little bit", a bite in the end, needs to breathe some more.
5) 2008 Domaine de la Chevalarie Bourgueil Galichets, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc - $29 @ Le Caveau
sweeter, no burn so far, mellow, less oak, if any oak it's French oak, maybe strawberries, toasted almonds, "it's noon somewhere", tea, pair with dessert, disappointing palate, needs to open up more,
6) 2010 Columbia Crest Cabernet Franc Blend - $12 @ Publix50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
creamy, mushroom, big nose, dark chocolate, fruity palate, also has an androngenous finish, too thin, "actuary wine, no conversation"